“Thank you for all you do for our children. It is a supreme blessing to have adults who care deeply about our children and who are passing on their love for the world and people around us.”
-Dawn Behm, Parent
Wilderness Awareness Youth School is a weekly nature course for homeschooled children ages 7-13. Through creative play and exploration, Youth School participants work together in small groups, gaining nature awareness and knowledge of plants, mammals, tracking, birds, and survival.
During the year there are field trips, optional overnight experiences, and guest instructors in various topics.
There is a maximum group size of 9 students per instructor to ensure opportunities for individual attention and mentoring, so be sure to register your child early for this homeschool nature program.
Call our office: 425-788-1301
Course Registration Details
|Call to Register||
September to June @ 9am-3pm Thursdays
Where? Our land in the foothills of the Cascades near Duvall, WA
Who? Ages 7-13 How much? $2,340
2011-2012 School Information
Course Registration Open registration starts April 15, 2011. For more information about course registration or to apply, please call our office: 425-788-1301
Class Meets (choose a section)
Section 1: Thurs. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; (Ages 7-9) - also known as the "Foxes"
Section 2: Thurs. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; (Ages 10-13) - also known as the "Coyotes"
(*We are 15 min. from Woodinville, WA; 20 min. from Redmond, WA; 30 min. from Bellevue, WA; and 50 min. from Seattle, WA).
Classes start September 13, 2012
Classes end June 1, 2013
Annual tuition $2340. Non-Refundable Enrollment Fee: $585, due upon registration. Remainder payable in three payments due September 1, Dec. 15, and March 15.
Scholarships If you require tuition assistance, we invite you to submit a Scholarship Application along with your application for Youth School (download a Scholarship Application in PDF format, complete it and mail it in).
The non-refundable enrollment fee is required to hold the place of all registrants, regardless of scholarship status. If, within two weeks of scholarship notification, scholarship applicants decide not to commit to the course, we will refund your fee in full. (This is the only situation where the enrollment fee is refundable.)
Your homeschooled child can receive valuable tuition assistance that can be applied toward costs at Youth School! More details
At the core of our approach to educating young people is our concept of "Passion-based learning." This is the idea that every one of us has special gifts to bring to the world, things that spark our passions in life.
Our school's fundamental goal is to awaken this spirit in our students, and to help them identify and pursue their gifts. We believe that the most effective learning happens when young people are pursuing what they love, and so truly desire to learn.
Equally important is our philosophy that the most effective learning happens when students figure things out "on their own."
In their efforts to do this, they are individually guided by mentors who strive to create experiences and opportunities for students to discover their own answers.
We call this method Coyote Mentoring, a technique that encourages creative thinking rather than providing answers, and results in much deeper learning. It also stimulates the growth of problem-solving skills, and stretches the students into greater self-sufficiency in their living and learning.
Meet Your Instructors
Sol Marie Doran
Sol Marie Doran has been working with children since 1995 and has been mentoring with the Wilderness Awareness School methodology since 2002. She came to the school in 2004 from Santa Barbara, CA, where she worked with Wilderness Youth Project, ran an early childhood outdoor program, and earned a B.S. in Ecology. She is finishing her last Kamana Naturalist Training Program field pack, is a 2-time Tracking Intensive graduate, has trained in herbalism at Ravencroft, and has studied since 2008 with Kim Scanlon and Francis Weller on various arts, including modern cultural development, leadership, and emotions. She has an M.A. in Clinical Somatic Psychology and is in training with the Somatic Experiencing Method. Her personal interests include Forrest Yoga and ethnic dance.
Andy grew up in Ohio, where he spent his summer weekends at his grandparent’s cabin by the lake. He caught frogs and turtles with his brother and sisters and went fishing with his grandpa. Later, he worked at a state park in Ohio for a couple of years as the Park Naturalist, where he was able to share his passion for nature with visitors and explore the park day and night. In 2004, Andy moved to Washington to attend Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School. Since then he has completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Evergreen State College with a project of exploring history and researching his ancestors. He is particularly passionate about planting trees to create diverse landscapes, which makes his position as Land Steward quite enjoyable. He also thoroughly enjoys tracking, trailing and watching birds, especially in the company of children. He is madly in love with his wife Shari and daughter Samara.
Richie was born and raised in Yelm, WA. Spending his summers camping in Weyerhauser with his dad he developed a deep love for the forest. Working with youth at Camp Cispus during high school and college he realized his passion for working with kids. He has dedicated his life to reconnecting with nature, community and self. He is also deeply committed to helping both kids and adults to find their passions by sharing his with them.
Since coming to the school in 2007 he has completed the Residential Program, the Apprenticeship Program, the Tracking Intensive, and a number of other programs. He has instructed at the summer camps for 6 years, and is excited to be starting his 2nd year as year round staff.
Things that keep Richie active are going out trailing animals, learning more about bird language, making his own sour dough, deer bone broth, kombucha, yogurt, and other kitchen projects, making moccasins, spending time with friends, family, and his new beautiful wife Natalie.
Natalie loves her job; she knew she found her place when she could enjoy her hobbies and passions AND get paid for it! True story. To compliment her love of people and nature, she earned a degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in cultural anthropology and environmental studies. Before graduating, she knew her life’s plan: to help people, especially children, fall in love with nature. Over the past seven years this goal has led her to work with adults and children at several state parks and outdoor schools and to travel far and wide. From the tip of Scotland to the South of Spain, from Eastern Europe all the way down to Oaxaca, Mexico. Her favorite place in the entire world is the Kalalau River on Kauai (that’s where I am in this picture! I look pretty happy huh?) Always craving more knowledge and deeper understandings, she studied permaculture and cultural mentoring at the Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness nine month intensive program with Jon Young. She is also a graduate of the Anake Outdoor School and Anake Leadership Program.